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Relics: A Matter of Contention Between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity

Ra‘anan Boustan, Dan Lainer-Vos, and Paolo Parigi open the "Haunting Religion" seminar.

The seminar includes lectures by Ra'anan Boustan (UCLA) and Dan Lainer-Vos (USC Department of Sociology) with Paolo Parigi (Stanford University). Prof. Boustan presents "Relics: A Matter of Contention Between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity."  Lainer-Vos and Parigi discuss "The Miracle Worker, the Acolytes, and the Church: Early Modern Miracle Making and the Preservation of Charisma."

The lectures are part of an annual seminar sponsored by the Center for Religion and Civic Culture's Interdisciplinary Research Group. This year’s theme, "Haunting Religion," focuses on religious conceptions of, and responses to, the dead, the paranormal, the supernatural, and the otherworldly. How have religions inspired, shaped, or forbidden communication with whatever lies beyond human life and material realities? And when ghosts, spirits, or daemons come to call, how have religious customs and concepts influenced human responses?

“Haunting Religion” is organized by Lisa Bitel, professor of history and religion and Lynn Swartz Dodd, director of the Archaeology Research Center at USC. 

Professor Ra‘anan Boustan is an associate professor in the Department of History at UCLA. His research focuses on Jewish literary and material culture in late antiquity (c. 200–800 CE), with special emphasis on how these sources shed light on the dynamic intersections between Judaism and other Mediterranean religious traditions.

Dan Lainer-Vos is an assistant professor of sociology and the Ruth Ziegler Early Career Chair in Jewish Studies at the University of Southern California. Paolo Parigi is assistant professor of sociology at Stanford University.

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